Consortium of investors that purchased Black Hops appoint new CEO

June 5, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Black Hops Brewing has announced that Nick Boots will take over as the new CEO of the company. The new appointment follows shortly behind last month’s news that Black Hops had been bought by consortium of investors one day ahead of being placed into liquidation

The new Co-Owner of Black Hops and General Manager of Transition Luke McCormack said that, “from day one of the business transition, the passion and talent within the Black Hops team was clear. Our commitment was to find our team a leader to take us forward and we believe we’ve delivered this for the business in the earliest of days.  We could not be happier with this appointment.”

Nick Boots brings with him extensive leadership experience in the brewing industry including in roles such as General Manager of Kegstar and Stone & Wood. 

“At Stone & Wood I was part of a team that achieved great success for all its stakeholders, providing learnings that will be relevant for Black Hops and can be applied in a uniquely ‘Black Hops way’ that is respectful of history while being progressive and future focused,” said Boots.

“The beer market continues to evolve, providing new challenges and exciting new opportunities to brewers who are listening to their consumers, partnering with their trade customers, have a clearly defined strategy and are leveraging the full talent of their team.”

Black Hops Brewing was placed into administration towards the end of March. A report published by the Deloitte administrators on 7 May revealed the severity of the business’ financial troubles, including a $7 million debt to creditors and the belief that Black Hops might have been trading insolvent from as early as 1 December 2022. The report concluded that the company should be placed into liquidation. 

“We do not recommend the administration ends as the Company is insolvent, we are of the opinion that it would be in the creditors best interests that the Company be wound up,” it said.

The exact value of the 14 May purchase of Black Hops remains undisclosed. The new owners and CEO Nick Boot will now be required to implement a series of significant company changes to steer the company back towards turning a profit, especially given Deloitte’s conclusion that “a cause of action for trading whilst insolvent may potentially exist against the current and former directors of the Company.” 

Black Hops’ new Co-Owner Luke McCormack – who is also the Head of APAC & Japan at Unqork, a codeless application development platform – said that “one of our highest priorities in taking ownership of Black Hops was searching for an experienced leader to guide the business forward.  Clearly Nick has a track record of results in the industry, and we’re thrilled to have him on board.” 

The economic troubles at Black Hops are reflective of wider industry challenges that have seen more than 12 independent breweries enter into voluntary administration over the past 18 months. This includes at least three breweries closing their doors for good

Nick Boots says he is excited to be joining the team.

“Everyone within the industry knows Black Hops beers sit amongst the very best in the market and I am energised by the significant future opportunities for Black Hops beers, brand, brewery, team and the future of the business,” he said.

“The reputation Black Hops has for its beers is outstanding and I’m thrilled to be on board.”

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